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How to Avoid Adding to Credit Card Debt When You Shop

Spending and debt too often go hand-in-hand.

With the introduction of tap payments, one-click-pay and other convenient payment methods, it’s easy to see how easy it is to overspend. We live in a fast-paced society with a focus on instant-gratification and unfortunately, consumer debt is the byproduct of it.

The good news is that you can change your course and become immune to clever marketing that tells you to spend, spend, spend. You just need a few simple tools.

How to keep a lid on credit card debt

You found something you really want online and before you know it, you’re hitting checkout. Sound familiar? Impulse spending can quickly add up to unmanageable debt. Here are a few ways to turn that around:

  1. Create a budget. Lay out all your expenses so you can clearly see how much you’re spending each month. Use a budgeting app such as Mint or Wally for easy reference.
  2. Define your wants vs. needs. Everyone’s situation is different. That’s why it’s important for you to define what’s a necessary expense vs. unnecessary. Ask yourself whether you can afford the item and whether it’s in the budget. If not, don’t buy it.
  3. Disengage from store emails. If you’re prone to shop “flash sales,” unsubscribe from e-mails from stores that are problematic. Instead, follow an inspirational finance blogger such as Christine Drummond from The Wallet Diet.
  4. Commit to cash. Leave the credit cards at home and only shop with the specified amount you’ve set in your budget. You can’t overspend if you don’t have the cash, right?
  5. Set long-term goals. Don’t get caught up in the here and now. Focus on what’s most important to you down the road. If you want to get out of debt, make small changes such as exploring your debt options, paying down one high-interest credit card, or adding to an emergency fund.

Don’t let store sales lead you to blow your budget. Your sale item is costing you way more than you think if you use credit to buy it. By setting financial goals for yourself and focusing on long-term outcomes, you’ll be more likely to stick to your goals.

What else can you do to change how you view your debt this year? Listen to what our Licensed Insolvency Trustees have to say on our first podcast of 2018.

How will you ditch credit card spending and focus on paying down debt? Share your experience with us via Twitter. #DebtSolutions #NewYearsResolution #ChangeYourMind #NewYearMotivation

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